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Amazon is Sounding the Climate Alarm Plant More Trees Eat Less Meat Hong Kongers Reduce Carbon together




 The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest, making up for 50% of the world’s rainforest area. Referred to as the "Lungs of the Earth”, it not only supplies 20% of the world’s oxygen, but also absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere to slow down global warming. The rainforest brings a variety of benefits to people and the ecology, including air purification, water conservation, raising biodiversity, and more.

The fire in the Amazon rainforest has been burning for months and remains uncontrolled. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) noted there has been over 70,000 fires in the Amazon this year, 80% more than the previous year. More than 950 thousand hectares of the forest has been reduced to scorched earth and the situation is worrying. In fact, the frequency of the fires is directly linked to deforestation. As one of the largest beef importers in the world, farmers in Brazil will convert forests into farmlands through slash-and-burn for crops and livestock.

Friends of the Earth (HK) urges the Brazilian Government to actively tackle the disaster. Countries around the world should adopt a sustainable development model to stop deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) pointed out that the livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas than the transportation sector. As one of the cities with the highest per-capita meat consumption, Hong Kong can practice a healthy and low-carbon diet and contribute to mitigating climate change.

On the other hand, urban trees can alleviate heat islands. Hong Kong citizens only enjoy 2.5 square meters of urban green space if country parks were excluded. In contrast, mainland cities have an average of 5.7 m2 and Singapore with 7.5 m2. Urban greening can bring environmental, societal and health benefits. FoE (HK) urges the Government to increase the green ratio in Hong Kong and create a local "carbon sink”. Further, a long-term urban forestry policy should be formulated to turn Hong Kong into an "urban forest”.

To enhance the local biodiversity and promote the message of "Save Trees, Conserve Nature”, FoE (HK) has partnered with Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in the Country Parks Plantation Enrichment Programme to host "Tree Planting Challenge”, a tree planting and hiking activity. Since 2005, more than 9,300 participants have successfully climbed and planted 83,000 native saplings in various country parks. In addition to raising public awareness of climate change, the planted saplings will provide habitat and food for local animals. FoE (HK) is now preparing for "Tree Planting Challenge 2020”, which will be held in Tai Lam Country Park next spring.

Since August 2018, FoE (HK) has been delivering professional training to the local stakeholders under the "Jockey Club Smart City Tree Management Project” funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and with collaboration with Poly U, HKUST, HKU, and various government departments. We have successfully trained up over 120 tertiary students, 1,300 secondary students and 100 community stakeholders in better understanding the local ecology, biodiversity and tree risk management. In the coming year, we will be arranging more secondary school talks as well as community seminars to enhance their knowledge in trees and working together on forest conservation.


 


Interested Topic:
Air
Climate Change
Eco City
Green Economy
Nature Conservation

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